Manly coach Geoff Toovey has taken aim at the NSW Rugby League for leaving the club stranded at Anthony Watmough's judiciary hearing while they celebrated in the pub.
Watmough was charged with a grade two dangerous throw charge in the Blues' State of Origin triumph on Wednesday night, and will now miss four NRL matches after failing in his bid to get a downgrade.
Even for incidents arising from Origin, it's the clubs who are left to race the clock organising a case and to foot the bill for legal representation.
Toovey was left seething that no one from NSW even bothered to show up and support one of their players, particularly when it's Manly who pay the price on the field and in the back pocket.
"It's a massive blow for us and most disappointing for me is we didn't even get a phone call from the NSW rugby league," Toovey fumed.
"No one turned up last night. Just Manly left holding the can once more.
"They couldn't even tear themselves away from the pub for five minutes to come and support one of their players. Very disappointing.
"When it comes to injuries and suspensions, like us with Anthony Watmough, the club and the club's fans are the ones that suffer - not the rep games or NSW."
Manly were left frustrated that Watmough was suspended for a month, when NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds escaped any ban for a similar lifting tackle in Origin I.
Toovey said the inconsistency of the judiciary's rulings on dangerous tackles this year has been poor.
The NRL announced it would crack down on the tackle after the Alex McKinnon tragedy, but after a number of successful downgrades by players, Watmough is the first to really bear the brunt.
"The judiciary is pretty inequitable for players, you just don't know what you're going to get," he said.
"They always talk about consistency, but the panels are instructed either to ignore past things or take them off. So it's a bit of a lottery, yes.
"Until we get a set structure (of guidelines) it's going to be very difficult."
Watmough's loss is a major blow for Manly, who are also without star Glenn Stewart.
However the Sea Eagles are expecting Daly Cherry Evans to back up from Queensland duty to face Cronulla on Saturday night at Remondis Stadium.
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